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When you try to safely remove a USB stick or external hard drive from your computer by right-clicking on the device icon in the taskbar and selecting “Safe to remove hardware”, it does not always work. Some users say that an error message prevents them from disconnecting their device from the network in this way because it is used by another window or program. This is the complete error message.
The integrated Windows solution generally works: In the notification area (also known as the system tray or systray), click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon and select the drive. If you receive the message “Safe To Remove Hardware”, it is possible to remove the device safely.
But Windows will not tell you what is happening to the device. Without this information, it is difficult to know how to solve the problem.
Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device
“This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device, and then try again.”
Using the Process Explorer
a) Download the process explorer.
b) Click on Search, Find a handle or DLL (Dynamic Link Library) in the Tools menu.
c) Enter the letter of the USB device drive in the Handle or DLL Split text box and press the Search button.
d) Find the process and its PID (Process Identifier) in the box below.
e) In the system tree structure, locate the process according to the Find Handle or DLL dialog box.
f) Press Ctrl + H to display the handles in the lower pane.
g) Find the file corresponding to the drive letter and right-click on it, select Close handle.
Use the custom Windows tool
In the notification area, click the Remove Hardware Safely icon, and then click your device. Wait for a message to appear. If the message is “Safe to Remove Hardware”, remove the hardware.
Using the Device Manager
Eject the USB in the Device Manager
- Go to the execution by clicking on Windows + R.
- Type Control Panel and press Enter.
- Click Hardware and Sound > Hard Drives.
- All storage devices are displayed.
- Right-click on the device and select Uninstall.
- Confirm your selection and wait until the process is complete, then remove the device.
Checking system logs
We can check the event log to detect errors that were recorded when you received the computer prompt. The event log contains all the errors that an application encounters to locate the problem.
- Press Windows + R to start the Run application. Type “eventvwr” and press Ok. This will launch the Event Viewer on your PC.
- Now click on the Windows logs located on the left side of the navigation area. Now click on Application. We can hope to find the log generated by your system when this error occurred.
- Click on the “Filter Current Log” button on the right side of the screen in the right navigation pane, then type “225” in the Event Log ID box in the center of the window. Now press Ok. This will filter all other events in the log and leave only logs with ID 225. Event ID 225 is the ID of the error generated by the computer when it is unable to shut down the device and open the left log. As we can see, Microsoft Office was responsible for generating the error.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.